PUBLISHED: 6:03 PM on Wednesday, April 9, 2008
SEARHC EMS to offer WMA Challenge Course
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Emergency Medical Services department is offering a Wilderness Medical Associates Challenge and Recertification Course that takes place on April 18-20 at the SEARHC Community Health Services Building, First Floor Conference Room.

The course includes a national certification through Wilderness Medical Associates (WMA) that lasts for three years. The courses are useful for anybody who spends a great deal of time in the Alaska outdoors. Some emergency medical services units, guide services and search and rescue squads require the Wilderness First Responder course for employees or volunteers, and some groups have been known to pick up all or part of the tuition for their students.

The WMA Challenge and Recertification Course takes place over 24 hours in three days. Class times are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. with an hour for lunch. The course includes a recertification in provider-level cardiopulmonary resuscitation. This class is designed for people who need a recertification of their Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT certifications, and also can be used as a challenge course for those who have taken a 64-hour-plus continuous WFR-level class from another agency.

The course costs $225, which needs to be pre-paid to receive an extensive pre-course packet and exam, plus other materials that must to be completed before the course starts. Checks should be made out to SEARHC EMS. There is a limit of 18 students in the class, and students must be at least 18 years old to receive WMA certification. The registration deadline is 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 16, and classes are open to all Southeast Alaska adult residents. Students should bring clothing suitable for wearing while working outside, but medical equipment will be supplied.

"Bring what you'd normally wear in the wilderness," said SEARHC EMS Coordinator Mike Motti, who said that part of the course will be taught outdoors. "The emphasis is on hands-on learning, both in the classroom and outside."

For more information on the class, please contact Mike Motti at 907-966-8771 or, or Eric Van Cise at 907-966-8769 or For a more detailed course description and information visit